Tips & Tricks

Toggle Visibility Thread Problems and Solutions
Posted: 7/6/2018

Do you often find yourself rethreading your machine because of skipped stitches, thread looping on the bottom, or just general tension problems when using a monofilament/nylon thread? Though it's not always the first conclusion we jump to, the problem is often in the thread!

If you take your spool of thread and unwind about 12-14 inches, does it curl like an old-style phone cord? When monofilament and nylon threads start to get old or are low quality, it can start to flatten out and curl, causing it to slip out of the take-up lever or the tension or loop on the bottom. Remember, it's not how long you've had the thread but how long it's been on the spool since it left the manufacturer.

There are a few things you can do to avoid these issues with monofilament or nylon threads. When you purchase a new spool of thread, purchase from a good name brand. Buying in smaller spool sizes also works better because there is less thread on the spool. You can also use a thread lubricant on thread you currently have to help it glide through properly. Sewer's Aid  is a great thread lubricant that we carry in store for this purpose. Applying it down the side of the whole spool will lubricate all of the thread on the spool so you can use the whole thing with no worries. (Thread lubricant is also a miracle cure for metallic threads, especially when embroidering.) You may also find better results or less issues with crosswound thread rather than horizontal thread since it is designed to come off the end of the spool rather than the side. And lastly, standing your spool up rather than laying it down can help combat this issue if you're using a horizontal wound thread. This can help by not allowing the thread to fall off and have too much slack while you are sewing.

If you find yourself having these issues with monofilament or nylon threads, try these few steps. If you are still having issues, feel free to give us a call any time during our store hours at 309-685-5558!

Toggle Visibility Lowering the Presser Foot
Posted: 6/1/2018

Lowering the presser foot doesn't seem like something you could really do incorrectly, but it you're letting the presser foot slam down or putting it down rather hard, it can cause some problems you may not expect. Lowering the presser foot hard or letting it slam down can damage sensors, change the height of the presser bar, and loosen or break screws that hold things in place. This doesn't mean you have to lower the presser foot super gently, but if you guide the presser foot lever all the way down before letting go, you will significantly decrease the chances of experiencing these issues in the future.

Toggle Visibility How To Prevent Plug and Cord Issues
Posted: 5/1/2018

When you need to take your machine with you somewhere or you need to move it, it can seem convenient to leave the plug in the machine and move the machine and cords together instead. What you may not realize is that if the plug gets bumped or yanked, you can damage the terminal in the machine that the cord plugs into. If that terminal gets damaged or broken, the repair can be costly. And on some older machines, that terminal may no longer be available. So next time you transport your machine, make sure you unplug the cord or you may be stopping by to see us sooner than you'd like.

Toggle Visibility Combatting Looping and Jamming
Posted: 4/17/2018

If you're having trouble with thread bunching under the fabric, here's a few troubleshooting tips.

First, undo the mess and unthread the machine. Take out your bobbin and remove the bobbin case to make sure there's no debris in the bobbin case or underneath it that could be causing the issue. Reinsert your bobbin case and the bobbin, making sure the bobbin is turning counter clockwise when you pull on the thread. Raise the presser foot and make sure the thread take-up is at the top of it's stroke. Re-thread the top of the machine but don't thread the needle just yet. Pull on the thread while lowering your presser foot to ensure that the thread is in the top tension. Once you know the thread is in the tension, thread the needle. Now you're ready to sew!

A great way to make sure you don't end up with looping or jamming is to make sure that the thread take-up is at the top every time you start or stop sewing.

Toggle Visibility Read the Instruction Book
Posted: 4/3/2018

The first and most important tip we can give you is to read the instruction book. You may not have seen it in a while, but if you read the book you'll find that there is usually some troubleshooting included for common issues you may encounter, like thread breaking or the tension being off. If you're having issues, look through the book first and see if there's an easy fix.